Rubber band ligation is a procedure in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at its base with rubber bands, cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoid. This treatment is only for internal hemorrhoids
Rubber Band Ligation for Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are a very common in the US with over 1 million new cases diagnosed each year. The most common way to remove a bothersome hemorrhoid is through rubber band ligation, also called hemorrhoid banding or hemorrhoid ligation. This procedure allows your physician to place a rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid, restricting blood flow and causing the hemorrhoid to wilt and fall off within a week or two.
Reasons for Ligation
Hemorrhoids are inflamed and swollen veins located in and around the anus or lower rectum and can cause uncomfortable symptoms including bleeding, itching, pain or discomfort. The goal of hemorrhoid banding is to eliminate these symptoms by cutting off the hemorrhoid’s bloody supply.
Preparation for the Procedure
There is very little preparation required for hemorrhoid banding. Patients do not need to complete a bowel preparation nor are they subject to a lengthy recovery period. Generally patients are back to work that day with minimal discomfort.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Hemorrhoid banding is a quick and simple procedure performed in the physician’s office. Your physician will first examine the rectum using a small device called an anoscope; allowing him or her to see the hemorrhoid. Next, using a specialized instrument, your physician will grab the hemorrhoid, gently pulling it away from the intestinal wall, and roll the rubber band onto the base of the hemorrhoid. The rubber band restricts the supply of blood to the hemorrhoid and within a few days the hemorrhoid will shrivel up and then detach, usually during a normal bowel movement without you even noticing.
The procedure generally takes less than 10 minutes and patients experience very minimal, if any, discomfort. After the procedure you may feel as if you need to have a bowel movement or experience a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. To minimize discomfort, our physicians typically limit banding to one or two hemorrhoids at a time. Patients with multiple hemorrhoids may require more than one visit.
Benefits of Rubber Band Ligation for Hemorrhoids
Rubber band ligation is the most commonly used treatment for hemorrhoids. Unlike traditional banding techniques which use metal forceps to grip the hemorrhoid and can cause bleeding and significant discomfort, our physicians perform ligation with the CRH or INX methods that utilizes gentle suction to hold the hemorrhoid while the rubber band is placed.
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Risks of the Procedure
Rubber band ligation for hemorrhoids is safe and associated with very low risk. Complications are rare but do include bleeding from the anus, infection in the anal area, pain and swelling at the treatment site. It’s important that you refrain from demanding physical activity immediately following your treatment to reduce the risk of complications.
The hemorrhoid banding system uses gentle suction, not uncomfortable metal clamps, to treat hemorrhoids. The procedure takes just a few minutes and provides long-lasting results, with few patients reporting any recurrence of their symptoms years later.
You don’t have to live with the discomfort of hemorrhoids or go through surgery or other invasive treatments to get rid of them. Learn more about the Banding System for banding and how it can help you.
What Is the Banding System?
The banding System is a unique type of hemorrhoid banding treatment. During hemorrhoid treatment, a doctor places rubber bands around the base of internal hemorrhoids. The physician positions the band so it doesn’t contact nerve endings, reducing any discomfort felt during and after the procedure.
The band pinches off the hemorrhoid, keeping blood from reaching it. After a few days without blood, the hemorrhoid shrinks and falls off. The process is so painless that many people don’t notice when the hemorrhoid falls off.
No preparation is required for treatment with the banding System. You don’t need to fast beforehand or clear out the bowels. There is also no down time needed for recovery after the procedure. You can return to work and other daily activities immediately after your treatment. On the day of your treatment, your doctor will recommend avoiding lifting heavy items or other activities that put strain and pressure on the rectal area. Most people can resume those activities the next day.
Banding system side effects are rare, mild when they do occur and might include a feeling of fullness or slight discomfort in the rectum. Side effects usually fade within a day. Many patients find that an over-the-counter pain reliever is enough to manage any discomfort.
Cost and Insurance Coverage
Cost is something to consider when you choose which hemorrhoid treatment is right for you. Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments and home remedies, such as using topical creams or sitting in a warm bath, may initially cost less than in-office or surgical treatments. But as these offer only temporary relief, you often need to continue using these OTC treatments, and this cost adds up over time. Additionally, as these treatments target the symptoms rather than the cause of your hemorrhoids,you may still not find full relief from hemorrhoids.
Surgical treatments are more effective at treating hemorrhoids but usually come with a high price tag. In addition to the surgery itself, a patient needs to pay for anesthesia, the surgical center and, in many cases, the surgeon’s fees.
Compared to other in-office or surgical hemorrhoid treatments, the banding system is relatively low-cost. It’s notably less expensive than surgery. The treatment usually requires a maximum of three office visits, which also helps to keep costs down.
Additionally, many insurance plans cover the banding procedure. Medicare also covers the treatment.
If you’re still on the fence about choosing banding over other hemorrhoid treatments, you can talk to your physician to learn more about the benefits of the treatment compared to other options. Some of the reasons to choose the banding include:
It’s safe: Banding doesn’t use metal clamps or require an endoscope, making it a considerably safer procedure compared to traditional rubber banding methods.
It’s pain-free: The gentle suction created by the device used during Banding treatment doesn’t create discomfort.
It’s covered by insurance: Most insurance plans will cover some or all of the cost of the treatment.
It’s quick: The Banding System treats one hemorrhoid at a time and typically takes about 60 seconds. You can have multiple treatment sessions with the system. Since hemorrhoids aren’t likely to recur after this procedure, it saves you the time and ongoing treatment required by other methods that don’t produce long-lasting results.
It won’t interfere with your life: You don’t have to go hungry, swallow laxatives or do any prep work before the treatment. Afterward, you won’t need to take time off from work or otherwise put your life on hold.
It uses disposable devices: Patients can acquire healthcare-associated infections (HAI) through the use of reusable medical devices, such as the metal clamps used during traditional hemorrhoid banding. The banding System uses a disposable suction device, which significantly reduces the risk of HAIs.
CRH vs. Traditional Rubber Banding
Rubber band litigation is one of the most common treatment options for hemorrhoids, particularly for internal hemorrhoids. The banding system improves on traditional banding methods in a few ways. It replaces painful metal clamps with a soft suction device. The use of suction rather than clamps reduces bleeding risk and increases comfort. The system also offers benefits over endoscopic banding.
During endoscopic banding, a physician threads a small camera into the rectum so they can see where they are working. The use of the camera, or endoscope, means that a patient needs to clear their bowels and fast before the treatment. Patients are also usually given anesthesia and sedation during an endoscopic treatment, which makes the process take longer and extends the recovery period.
Banding vs. Other Hemorrhoid Treatments
Some people might prefer to treat their hemorrhoids at home rather than see a physician for care. Many home-based hemorrhoid treatments exist, including some natural remedies, such as applying witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to the affected area. Hemorrhoid creams are another popular at-home treatment option.
While using creams or natural remedies can give a person a temporary relief from their hemorrhoids, the results from those treatments aren’t meant to be permanent.Many of the claims made are based on word-of-mouth and anecdotes, not scientific evidence.
As soon as the cream or ointment wears off, the discomfort, burning and itching caused by the hemorrhoids will likely return. To get longer-lasting relief, a person needs to seek a more definitive treatment.
Banding System results are permanent, with few patients experiencing reoccurrence several years later.